Copyright laws for cooking videos

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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kingchristo
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Copyright laws for cooking videos

Post by kingchristo » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:48 pm

Hello im hoping someone can help me. I am wanting to create some videos showing people how to cook chinese and indian recipes, to go on youtube and also my website. If i read a recipe from a book then make this recipe on a video am i breaking any copyright laws thanks for your help
chris

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:26 am

That's an interesting question!
Copyright is not so much about ideas as the method of expression of those ideas. A book of recipes expresses the author's ideas in a literary form, whereas you intend to express the same idea in its physical form.
Copying for the purposes of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act means the actual reproduction of an artistic, dramatic, literary or musical work. This is then extended in certain circumstances. For instance it would be infringement of an artisitic work to make a three-dimensional copy of a two-dimensional work or vice-versa (s.17(3)).
Also, performing a literary, musical or dramatic work in public would infringe copyright if done without permission.
But although a recipe is a literary work, you are not 'performing' it by following it in order to make the dish. But you would be performing it if you read out the text as you were making it. So as long as you put the method into your own words, I don't think there is any problem with the actual demonstration part. What you do need to be careful about is how you show the actual list of ingredients on screen (if you intend to).
If the whole point of the video is the fact that this is Delia's recipe for baked beans on toast, then clearly you have to acknowledge that she is the author. However if the recipe ideas are generic, and it just so happens that you have chosen to follow one particular author's recipe, I don't think an acknowledgement is necessary. Clearly the less connection you have between the original and the content of your video, the better as far as avoiding a claim of infringement is concerned.
There is a great deal of plagiarism in the recipe book world, with very little which is actually 'new', so proving that you have used Delia's as opposed to Jamie Oliver's recipe for baked beans on toast is going to be very difficult for a claimant. It is the cumulative effect of small details which may be the distinguishing factor, so where Delia says "season with salt" and you say "add a pinch of salt" there is no possible way that the one can be related to the other for copyright purposes, even though both express the same idea.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

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